About a year ago my landlady showed up at Casa Nanaimo with a rather sad-looking plant.
The gardener lashed it to the flamboyant tree with ropes -- like some Roman Easter ritual. And there it sat. Through the dry and rainy season.
The only activity was a matrix of long white roots -- right out of a gothic film -- that girdled the tree.
I know this plot. It was Little Shop of Horrors all over again. One morning I anticipated a giant alien would be tied to the tree.
But I was wrong. Instead, the plant started putting out columns of fresh green leaves during the summer rainy season.
Then one morning there was something new. A thin spike. That grew longer and longer. When it was nearly five feet long, it started forming buds.
And there it sat for a couple of weeks. Until I was greeted one day with delicate purple flowers. Orchids. Perfectly fit for a Lilliputian high school prom.
Unfortunately, that is when I headed north. My landlady informs me that the display goes on.
This year I will miss its best performance. And, as long as the plant is not aware of my herbicide history with orchids, we may be able to coax a reprise next year.